Audi Accelerates Bluetooth Adoption Using CSR Silicon

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December 18, 2002

CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) today announced that car maker Audi will be using CSR’s BlueCore technology to bring Bluetooth technology to the road with the world’s first car to be offered with a Bluetooth enabled GSM car phone and a cordless Bluetooth handset. Bluetooth equipped models are rolled out throughout countries supporting the GSM network in Europe and Asia starting December 2002.

The Audi Bluetooth enabled Telematics Control Unit (TCU) is combining an embedded GSM module and an embedded Bluetooth module with a powerful CPU. It is connected to the Multi-Media-Interface (MMI) through an optical MOST Bus system. The System also is equipped with an in-car rechargeable cordless Bluetooth handset. It allows the passengers to place and accept calls directly through the TCU Bluetooth link. The user is thus able to place calls over the Bluetooth handset and to transfer that call to the Bluetooth enabled handsfree phone system in the Audi.

Bluetooth in-car handsfree kits are likely to play a key role as handsfree operation of mobiles becomes preferable, and increasingly, legally required in the near future. Industry experts estimate that up to 70 percent of all mobile phone calls are made from cars. Bluetooth hands-free systems provide a safe, convenient alternative and are set to become the first killer app for automotive Bluetooth. Audi identified the benefits of Bluetooth and took the step of integrating the wireless technology into its vehicles ahead of the competition.

Ken Noblitt, Business Development Director for Mobile Phones and Automotive applications in the US at CSR added, “To match Audi’s stringent quality, reliability and interoperability requirements, the Bluetooth equipment had to be guaranteed to withstand Audi’s in-cabin automotive requirements”. Noblitt continued, “At this time, only CSR’s BlueCore offers such a guarantee to operate or exceed the necessary range of -40degC to +85degC for most in-cabin electronics systems. Our BlueCore2-External has even been shown to function correctly up to +105degC. Automakers and Automotive Tier Ones can not afford to rely on anything less.”

CSR provides everything necessary to assist automotive designers in developing a fully featured Bluetooth hands-free system, including a reference design, circuit descriptions, a complete BOM and all software (including the embedded Bluetooth stack). The hands-free profile runs in external Flash memory but the circuit design may be easily converted to a ROM-based single chip solution.

In the future, CSR will make available implementations of new automotive profiles for vehicle diagnostics, streaming video and mp3 file streaming. CSR will also work towards further extending the guaranteed temperature range of BlueCore2-External and future products.

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